Friday, April 27, 2007

"Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But We Also Have a Zero Tollerance Policy Regarding Words"

A buddy of mine has suggested that the "Kill 'Em All" tee-shirt that I wore to high-school might not pass muster today.

Guess he's right.

From the your Sun-Times:
Police Thursday released portions of an essay used to charge a Cary-Grove High School student with disorderly conduct, leaving several experts puzzled at an arrest based on such schoolwork.

Asked to write about whatever he wanted in a creative writing class, would-be Marine and honors student Allen Lee, 18, described a violent dream in which he shot people and then "had sex with the dead bodies.''

But then he immediately dismissed the idea as a mere joke, writing, "not really, but it would be funny if I did.'' ***

Lee said Thursday he was "completely shocked'' to be arrested Tuesday for his essay, especially because written instructions told kids not to "censor'' what they wrote.

Continuing their policy of punishing students for following directions, the entire Cary-Grove wrestling team was arrested on battery charges.

But seriously, it's important that the "educators" at the Cary-Grove High School help their students learn from this teachable moment.

I would suggest that they do so by assigning them Eric Arthur Blair's classic.

The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed — would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper — the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you. ***

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.

Perhaps you think that "death" is an exaggeration, but let's ask the boy who's life was smashed by a creative writing assignment.


Rich Miller said...


Anonymous said...

"Land of the free? Whoever told you that was your enemy!"

-Rage Against The Machine

So, now we arrest people for free expression? Ah well, these days the Bill of Rights may as well be written on toilet paper anyhow! As Jack Cafferty said, "it's getting more and more like North Korea around here every day."

Council the kid, make sure he isn't dangerous, that'd be only prudent. But arrested for writing fiction? Not in MY America!


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